Arts/Culture

The WBFO Arts & Culture News Desk is co-funded by Arts Services Initiative of Western New York and the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site.

Michael W. Thomas

By using multiple venues on multiple weekends, the Response Performance Festival stands out among the region's busy summer festival season. Torn Space Theater, which produces the event, begins the festival this weekend with "The Gathering" at Silo City.


Stratford Festival

Every theater season at the Stratford Festival produces a role people talk about. One of those this season is Beatrice-Joanna in Thomas Middleton and William Rowley's "The Changeling."

Photo: Christopher Scinta – christopherscinta.com

Barbara Cook, one of Broadway's leading sopranos, died at home in Manhattan at the age of 89. On Broadway, and on cast recordings (although not in the movie versions), Cook was best known for three roles: Cunegonde in Leonard Bernstein's 1956 CANDIDE (listen to "Glitter and Be Gay"); the librarian Marian opposite Robert Preston in 1957's THE MUSIC MAN (listen to "Till There Was You"); and Amalia Balash, the letter-writing heroine of 1963's SHE LOVES ME (listen to "The Ice Cream Song").

WBFO News photo by Chris Caya

The Buffalo Music Hall of Fame unveiled its 35th annual class of inductees at the Buffalo History Museum on Wednesday.

Americans for the Arts

The economic power of Western New York's arts community is detailed in a new study from Americans for the Arts, which estimates a $352 million regional impact.


Michael Mroziak, WBFO

It's been one year since a newer Lucille Ball bronze statue was unveiled in the community where she grew up. People still come to the village of Celoron, located just outside of Jamestown, to see the image of the late comedy legend. And whether it's tourists or longtime residents, the consensus is that the newer Lucy is a vast improvement.


The Shaw Festival

Theater Talk observes the passing of Sam Shepard, an American playwright (44 plays!) with a particularly edgy off-Broadway slant, who was also an actor, author, screenwriter, and director.

Scott Sackett / WBFO News

Tattooing in western culture was long associated with the fringes of society, but today is part of mainstream American life. And as tattooing has gained wider acceptance in the last twenty years, the imagery people choose for tattoos has changed dramatically.

WBFO Arts and Culture Desk reporter Scott Sackett visited a tattoo shop in Niagara Falls to see how the expanding demographic and social acceptability of tattoos have altered the art form.


WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

The Artie Awards and theater community raised $20,000 for ECMC's HIV/AIDS and Immunodeficiency Services. WNED-WBFO were presenters of the 27th annual Artie Awards held June 5th. Artie Awards Founder and WBFO's Theater Talk co-host Anthony Chase presented the check to ECMC Monday.  WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says ECMC provides key HIV-AIDS services through its clinic.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

The death of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Sam Shepard has a member of Buffalo's theater community reflecting on his work. WBFO's Senior Reporter caught up with Theater Talk Co-host Anthony Chase.

Chautauqua Theater Company

Stage and television (MADAME SECRETARY, THE BLACKLIST, ELEMENTARY) actor Andy Lucien wasn't even born in 1967 when the Detroit riots made headlines, but from experiencing Watts and later Ferguson, he has been able to dig deep and get into character for DETROIT '67.

Chautauqua Theater Company

The Buffalo Infringement Festival is taking advantage of the summer break in theatrical productions to grab some "A list" Buffalo talent for various projects (see listings below).

www.bpo.org

Explaining that many famous classical composers such as Handel, Beethoven, and Tchaikovsky suffered from mental challenges, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Music Director JoAnn Falletta told WBFO how proud she is to have the BPO play their music in a free outdoor concert on the site of the old Buffalo Psychiatric Center, known in its day for progressive, humane treatment.

WBFO's Nick Lippa

Notable players such as Grover Washington Jr. and Sam Noto are names that come to mind when you think of jazz in Buffalo. But what about the teachers who spurred their passion when they were students?

WBFO's Marian Hetherly

Buffalo legend Lance Diamond received one more standing ovation Thursday night at the North Park Theatre. It was opening night for the new locally filmed documentary about his life and career, "A Diamond in the Buff."

In 1967 Detroit, brother and sister Lank and Chelle find their lives upended by a mysterious woman and as their family falls apart, the '67 riots tear their city apart as well. DETROIT'67 opens tonight at the Bratton Theater at the Chautauqua Institution.

National Public Radio

Is a painting once stored behind a sofa in Tonawanda a Michelangelo?

The documentary "A Diamond in the Buff" makes its world premiere Thursday night at 7 at Buffalo's North Park Theatre. Co-director Kevin Polowy says the film offers a complex look at the late local music legend Lance Diamond, an immensely talented figure who maintained a "love affair" with his hometown until his death in 2015.


Cylla von Tiedemann/Stratford Festival

For the Stratford Festival this year, veteran stage, big screen and small screen performer Laurie Murdoch is Sir Joseph Porter in "HMS Pinafore" and Arvide Abernathy in "Guys and Dolls," two-well known roles in classic stage musicals. WBFO's Mike Desmond interviewed Murdoch in Stratford, ON.

Buffalo will play host to the world's largest youth Gaelic Games this month. More than 3,000 youth athletes will compete in Gaelic football, hurling, and other Irish field events at the West Seneca Soccer Complex July 27-30. Visitors from across the U.S. and Canada are expected to attend and, for the occasion, a rare public exhibit is being mounted to honor one of Ireland’s most influential and celebrated writers and showcase one of Buffalo's literary treasures.


MusicalFare

It's obvious that oodles of love and affection and time, that precious commodity, went into getting the new musical PRETTY FUNNY ready for its premiere.

WBFO's Mike Desmond

A North Buffalo landmark is getting a new life, as the North Park Library is to be the new home of the Italian Cultural Center of Buffalo.

The Buffalo Connection: Bill Diggins

Jul 10, 2017
Jenna Schoenefeld

Tim O’Shei of The Buffalo News has been traveling around the country visiting Western New Yorkers who’ve had a big impact on pop culture. His latest feature in The Buffalo Connection series – which hit print Sunday – is a profile on world-class music manager and South Buffalo native Bill Diggins. Diggins’ tenacious drive helped take TLC, one of the biggest pop groups of the 90s, to the top of the charts. Now, he’s out to make history again.


Chautauqua Theater Company

New York City-based Equity actor John Seidman actually prefers acting "on the road" in regional theater, such as the summer program at the Chautauqua Institution, to much of what is happening "back home" in Manhattan. And that's why he keeps coming back to the Bratton Theater, this summer for his eighth season, appearing in a leading dual role as "Selsdon/Burglar" in a British farce by Michael Frayn called NOISES OFF.


CTC

"The show must go on!" If Shakespeare himself didn't say that, Shakespeare in Delaware Park did, and hours after having their sound equipment burgled by varlets, they were back up and running with an all-woman production of THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR.

Photo from Colin Tucker's video

An experimental sound performance will be held at Artpark on Sunday, July 16. It's the second show of its kind. A similar performance was staged at Silo City last month. WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley spoke with one of the creators, composer and sound artist Colin Tucker of Buffalo. Tucker is serving as curator of the Null Point music project.  

Mike Desmond/WBFO News

In the early hours yesterday, someone broke into a storage trailer holding the sound system for Shakespeare in Delaware Park and took the equipment. By nightfall, the company had somehow scrambled to piece together a borrowed and rented sound system which allowed The Merry Wives of Windsor to start at its scheduled time.


Scott Sackett

At the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, you can see works by some of the most influential modern and contemporary artists. There are priceless masterpieces and defining images that are known around the world. It might not sound like the kind of place a family with young children can go for an afternoon of fun, but that’s now the growing trend. WBFO Arts and Culture Desk reporter Scott Sackett recently visited the Albright-Knox on a Family Funday and shares what he discovered.


Photo from video by Sam Radford

New public art designed to uplift is now on display in the MLK business district on Buffalo's East Side. A series of 31 banners highlight the contributions of African-American leaders.


WBFO File Photo

The Buffalo Preservation Board wants the Albright-Knox Art Gallery to come to a board meeting and explain why the first draft of its plan for a major expansion potentially damages the landmark status of the Delaware Park cultural center.

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